by David Schmidt

David Schmidt, a SAIL editor-at-large, is a recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest from SAIL's Boston offices

Knowing is believingNobody likes the idea of breaking out the EPIRB, but if calamity strikes and you need the cavalry, wouldn’t you want to know that it’s working correctly? While most EPIRBs have a simple on/off button, ACR’s new Gobalfix iPro 406 GPS EPIRB (both Cat I or Cat II units are available) features a small digital screen that not only displays the unit’s GPS
Ken Read is self-described as the “luckiest man alive” as far as his current job, skipper of Puma Ocean Racing’s il mostro in this year Volvo Ocean Race. Currently, Read and il mostro are sitting in third place by a comfortable point margin (11 points), but more importantly they are locked in a death battle with Telefonica Blue for second place, with only a

Shipping to Boston

by David Schmidt, Posted April 16, 2009
If you’re into Celtic punk, you’re familiar with the Dropkick Murphys song, “I’m Shipping up to Boston”, a tune that twangs many sailor’s heart strings for a bygone era of wooden ships, men of steel, and onboard accommodations that defined the term “lacking.” In this song, written by Woodie Guthrie, a fictitious sailor loses his leg climbing the topsails while sailing up to

Sailor-Free Sailing

by David Schmidt, Posted April 14, 2009
For millennia, sailors have proven they can cross vast oceans on boats big and small. But what if you removed the crew, added two hulls, and fitted a hard wingsail and hydrofoils? Meet the Autonomous Unmanned Surface Vessel (AUSV), developed by Harbor Wing Technologies. It carries no crew, and it gathers the majority of its energy from thin solar films on its wingsail, solar

ATN Genoa Sleeve

by David Schmidt, Posted April 14, 2009
If you have a roller-furling headsail, the ATN Genoa Sleeve is worth your attention. It’s built of abrasion-resistant, UV-proof material and protects your headsail (racing or cruising) without adding weight to the sail or requiring that it be altered. The sleeve is hoisted on a spare halyard and is laced with adjustable thin-diameter cordage that holds the sleeve snug to the sail when tightened,

Angle of Detachment

by David Schmidt, Posted April 14, 2009
Hooking up to shore power can be tricky, especially if the power post is just a little too far away from your boat or if your shore-power cable isn’t quite long enough to make that 90-degree turn. This can turn what was supposed to be a comfortable dockside night into a power-rationing situation. Marinco’s right-angle cordset adaptor allows your shore-power cord to make a

Look, Ma, No Hands!

by David Schmidt, Posted April 14, 2009
If you’re a high-adrenaline sailor, V.I.O.’s new Point of View (POV) video camera is perfect for documenting your onboard adventures. The package includes the recorder, a wireless remote, the camera head (which has a 100-degree field of view), various wires, mounting accessories, and a 1GB memory card (larger cards are available). It is waterproof and shock resistant, so even

Must Be Gone

by David Schmidt, Posted April 14, 2009
Long spells of hanging on a mooring and cold, wet winter days in storage are great for breeding mold, must, and other unsavory onboard odors. The solution to this pollution is diffusion—that is, air circulation. Nicro’s Day/Night Plus Solar Vents form a multi-part ventilation system featuring interchangeable air intake and exhaust fans; the vents fit into deck through-holes

Frequent Flyers

by David Schmidt, Posted April 8, 2009
Unless you're twisted in the head and enjoy the dizzying heights that are achieved through rock climbing or going aloft (such as myself), most sailors don't relish the idea of taking a trip up the stick, even when the boat is snugly hanging from her mooring pennants. Regardless of your ilk, the Spinlock Mast-Pro Harness should be a serious consideration for your "must-have" gear. Spinlock
Sherpas call Mount Everest Sagarmatha, “the mountain so high that no bird can fly over it”. Western sailors know the Vende Globe—a non-stop, solo, around-the-world race sailed on wildly powerful, lightweight 60-footers—as sailing’s Mount Everest. Study the attrition rate in this year’s race—19 of the original 30 boats dropped out, many in the stormy waters of the Southern Ocean—and you realize
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